Aid For Aids
Episode 4 of It’s A Sin begins with an advert on TV surrounding AIDS as Ritchie continues to check himself in private for spots. We’re in March 1988 and Ritchie and Jill have decided to try and buy their flat. Ritchie lies to the estate agents and tells them he’s not a homosexual.
His denial eventually spills over to his paranoia, trying a number of different “cures” to try and stop AIDS from spreading – if he even has it of course. Ritchie phones the doctors but they reiterate this same message – he needs to be tested.
Meanwhile, Roscoe rocks up at the dinner table with a whole stash of notes. It turns out he’s the right hand man for the MP, Arthur Garrison. He’s certainly going places and seems to be Arthur’s right-hand man. He’s even given more money to buy a brand new suit.
After buying the apartment, Ash and Ritchie wind up in the same bed together. Despite kissing for a bit, Ritchie lies and tells him he’s tired but Ash wants to wait for him. Ritchie is understandably awkward and eventually heads back to work like nothing’s wrong. He’s working in a minor role on Doctor Who until one of the production crew arrives and tells him his skin isn’t right.
Finally Ritchie gets checked out and receives the dreaded confirmation that he has AIDs.
This brings him back home to see his parents where he’s intent on telling the truth. Unfortunately he thinks twice about this and eventually leaves the house, telling them there’s nothing wrong.
Instead, his travels send him up to the local bar where he talks to the barman he had a crush on all those years ago. Ritchie speaks to him back on the beach and admits that he self pleasured while thinking about him numerous times.
Eventually he’s driven home as Ritchie finally comes to the realization that his time is running out. Roscoe senses as much too and heads back to work to see Arthur Garrett at their work conference. As it turns out, this conference is actually to welcome Margaret Thatcher.
Alone, Garrett scoffs at the notion of being gay and nonchalantly bad mouths Roscoe and his heritage. Well, Roscoe has the last laugh as he urinates in the tea and coffee given to Thatcher and the others. Ditching his suit and brandishing a white T-shirt, he joins the others as they prepare for their peaceful AIDS march.
With a peaceful demonstration underway, all of our characters converge together but unfortunately police show up not long after. They forcefully remove the men and women from the street. Jill is beaten down by the officers until Ritchie shows up and jumps on the officer’s back.
While Jill is bleeding, Ritchie is too but he warns the others not to touch him as they’re taken away in a police van. Now they learn the truth that he has AIDS but Ritchie remains adamant that he’s going to live.
The Episode Review
The penultimate episode to It’s A Lie predominantly focuses on Ritchie, the first character we followed way back in episode 1. Seeing a man with so much to live for; a bright future in showbiz and musical theater shattered so devastatingly by this AIDs diagnosis is tough to swallow.
All of this builds up to the final act where the AIDS protest paves way for Ritchie to make his triumphant return and reveal the truth to his friends. Only, now he’s more determined than ever to try and survive through this nasty disease.
The Doctor Who Easter egg is a nice touch, a throwback to Russell T. Davies’ revival series and an ending with the Daleks that mirrors that seen here.
To lighten some of the darker drama, Roscoe’s storyline featuring the MP is a welcome inclusion too and the satisfying conclusion to his storyline is justice for why Roscoe was so close to him in the first place.
As the AIDS virus continues to ravage the community, the ending leaves things wide open for the final episode. Will it be a happy or poignant ending for Ritchie? We shall see…